*CAN chairman laments, says churches have paid over N300m to kidnappers in 4yrs
Oluwakemi Omolewa, widow of the late resident pastor of Living Faith Church, Romi New Extention, Kaduna, Jeremiah Omolewa, who was killed by kidnappers along the Kaduna-Abuja road, has been set free by her abductors following the payment of an undisclosed sum of money as ransom.
The late pastor was killed on Sunday by bandits while his wife was abducted as they were returning to Kaduna from Abuja.
Kaduna state chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Joseph Hayab who confirmed her release in an interview on Friday in Kaduna said she was freed on Thursday night after a ransom was paid.
While lamenting the high rate of kidnappings in Kaduna state, Hayab disclosed that the church spent over N300 million on payments of ransom to kidnappers in last four years, while over 500 Christians where abducted within the same period.
He disclosed further that more than 20 churches, especially, those located in communities along the Kaduna-Abuja road have been closed as people living in those villages have since relocated following the activities of kidnappers.
“In the past four years, Christians in Kaduna state have suffered a lot.
“Generally, people in Kaduna state have suffered a lot in paying kidnappers ransom to ensure the release of either their family member or church member or neighbour or someone they know.
“It is sad to know that the church alone, from our statistics -ECWA Church, Baptist Church, Anglican Church, Catholic Church and many other Churches in Kaduna whose members have been kidnapped, have had to coughed out between N200,000 to N8 million to kidnappers to secure their release.
“In the last four years, the church in Kaduna has paid over N300 million to kidnappers in the last four years” the CAN Chairman said.